Main Street Minute: Bars plan St. Pat’s shenanigans, businesses rebrand

Bars plan St. Pat’s shenanigans, businesses rebrand

Brie Handgraaf

Main Street Minute
Posted 3/14/17

While my own Irish heritage goes back a few generations, this Friday everyone becomes an honorary Irishman as people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The holiday has religious roots, but modern festivities have shifted the focus to wearing …

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Main Street Minute: Bars plan St. Pat’s shenanigans, businesses rebrand

Bars plan St. Pat’s shenanigans, businesses rebrand

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While my own Irish heritage goes back a few generations, this Friday everyone becomes an honorary Irishman as people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The holiday has religious roots, but modern festivities have shifted the focus to wearing various shades of green from head to toe, then downing a beer while rocking out to Flogging Molly. While many major cities have public celebrations — for example, I was among the crowd freezing on Saturday to catch the parade and street festival in Raleigh — it is equally common for businesses to have their own festivities to cater to loyal customers and get new ones.

217 brew works

This laid-back downtown tavern will have a new beer on tap this Friday in honor of the holiday and the shared Irish heritage between owner Tom Curran and master brewer John Kater.

“Together we’re one Irishman,” Curran joked.

Curran’s paternal side consists of an Irish grandfather and a Scottish grandmother while Kater’s mixed ancestry includes relatives who immigrated to America during the potato famine. The duo leaned on their heritage to inspire the newest beer at The Stable: Eirinn Go Brach, a wry Irish rye stout.

“It is a full-flavored Irish stout,” Kater said. “The rye gives a nice astringent to balance out the residual sweetness and minimize the burnt character.”

Half of the 10-barrel batch will be kegged with carbon dioxide and half will be infused with nitrogen gas, which gives the beer a smoother feeling and flavor. Curran said the holiday happenings don’t stop there.

Starting at noon, they’ll have food trucks serving Irish-inspired dishes such as a corned beef and cabbage-stuffed potato. They’ll have a variety of live musicians performing a mixture of genres and in keeping with the Irish party spirit, a closing time for the tavern hasn’t been set.

“We certainly want everyone to celebrate, but we want them to do it responsibly,” Curran said. “St. Patrick’s Day is a wonderful holiday to celebrate where everyone is Irish for a day. Sometimes it gets a little silly, but we won’t have green beer. We said on Facebook that if you want green beer, you’ll have to bring your own dye.”


The popular pub and bottle shop on Forest Hills Road will have a sister location in Goldsboro starting on St. Patrick’s Day.

“Brewmasters doesn’t like to do anything calm, quiet or normal,” said Molly Youssef, keeper of the calendar for Brewmasters and wife of founder Morkos Youssef. “We go big. That is how Brewmasters rolls, so it is kind of fitting to open on a beer holiday.”

The Goldsboro location at 2402 Ash St. is about half of the size of the original restaurant, but it has a large patio area overlooking a small pond that Youssef said will be great with spring around the corner. The Wayne County spot also will have 24 taps — 20 for beer, two for nitrogen and two wine taps — as well as shelves and coolers for beer, mead, wine, sake and cider.

Youssef said patrons of both locations can get their green beer on for St. Patrick’s Day with a dyed ale from Carolina Brewery. As for entertainment, live local musicians are planned for Friday and Saturday with full details on their Facebook page.

When it comes to catering to the different demographic of the Goldsboro market, Youssef said they are anticipating a demand for international beers from veterans at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

“We’re going to see how things go and who comes in, but we’ll try some of the same things we do here like the yoga and the trivia,” she said. “The Thursday night specials are really popular, so we’ll do that and we’ll have tap takeovers at both locations.”

Discussions about a second bar started about a year ago, but the search for a location started last summer. Construction began in the fall and the finish of renovations just happened to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, Youssef said.

“For Goldsboro, this will be something they don’t already have,” she said.

The Youssefs plan to continue their community outreach efforts to the Goldsboro area with fundraisers and other support for nonprofits in the works.

“We’re excited to meet everyone there and have another community to get involved with,” Molly Youssef said.

If you’re looking for other St. Patrick’s Day festivities, be sure to check out #WideAwakeWilson in Thursday’s paper.

What’s in a name?

A locally owned and operated real estate agency has ushered in a few changes in recent months, including diversifying its business model and setting up new digs.

Forbes Real Estate Group President Lafan Forbes said the nine full- and part-time staff moved to the company’s third location in Brentwood earlier this year. He said the popular shopping center provided more traffic and better exposure than their previous location on Hines Street.

“Previously we were Forbes Real Estate Inc. and we were just realty,” he said. “We just listed and sold, but now we do that as well as property management and helping people invest in property, which is where the group came in.

“We diversified just a little more.”

For more information on Forbes’ services, visit www.forbesrealtyco.com or the office at 2861 Ward Blvd., Suite D.

Staff of a local air filtration manufacturing facility celebrated a rebranding on Monday as the plant on Commerce Road shifted from DelStar Technologies to Schweitzer-Mauduit International. The company known as SWM dates back to 1520 specializing in producing paper products across the globe, but recently expanded to diversified materials from fibers, resins and polymers.

“As our rebranding event demonstrated, we are excited to be part of the SWM global enterprise. SWM is focused on long-term growth and has a track record of capital investments for product innovation and expansion,” said local plant manager Lenny Pompeo. “For us, that means we’re looking at new equipment now for some new products to launch by the end of the year. This is the only dedicated air filtration plant for SWM, but we’ll have more synergy between products made here and products at other plants.”

Production manager Roger Wetnight moved to eastern North Carolina when the former metal fabricator facility transitioned to Pronamic Industries to manufacture air filtration materials. In 2014, the company became DelStar Technologies, then was acquired by SWM. The changes didn’t come painlessly, though. The transition Monday to SWM was preceded by a drop in sales that led to a cut in workforce and internal restructuring.

“What I look forward to is the diversification so not all of our eggs will be in filtration here,” Wetnight said. “We’ve got some other products that hit totally different and unrelated markets, which should give us versatility and stability.”

The 25-person Wilson staff was among workforces at newly branded SWM plants across the country who celebrated the transition Monday.

“You have been dedicated. You have worked hard and shown that we will prevail no matter the obstacles put in our way,” Pompeo told the staff during the luncheon. “From me and all of the management at SWM, I just want to say that without you guys, none of this is possible. Everything we do on a daily basis is because of you and we are very, very appreciative.”

Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or bhandgraaf@wilsontimes.com.